PALO ALTO, CA - Tesla Motors Inc. announced it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its common stock.

The filing indicates the electric automaker plans to raise up to $100 million in the IPO, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Tesla Motors designs, manufactures and sells fully electric vehicles and advanced electric vehicle powertrain components. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined.

Goldman, Sachs & Co., Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank Securities are acting as the joint book-running managers for the offering.

According to the Los Angeles Times, industry observers expect the IPO to be received well by investors. "This could propel them into a more prominent position in the auto industry," said David Menlow, president of "The question is how they're going to be able to rein in their costs."

Tesla is best known for its all-electric Roadster sports car. But last year, the automaker unveiled the prototype for the Model S sedan, which will carry a base price of $49,900. Deliveries of the Model S are set to begin in 2011.

Last month, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced the Department of Energy has closed its $465 million loan with Tesla for construction of a Model S manufacturing plant in southern California and a power-train manufacturing facility in Palo Alto.  

The Palo Alto facility will assemble electric vehicle battery packs, electric motors and related electric vehicle control equipment, both for Tesla's own electric vehicles and for sale to other automobile manufacturers. 

"This is an investment in our clean energy future that will create jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil," said Chu. "It will help build a customer base and begin laying the foundation for American leadership in the growing electric vehicles industry.  This is part of a sustained effort to develop and commercialize technologies that will be broadly deployed throughout the American auto industry." 

Tesla's planned Model S will consume no gasoline and will not produce any tailpipe emissions. It is being designed to offer a variety of range options depending on the battery pack used, from 160 to 300 miles on a single charge. Volume production of the Model S is planned to begin in 2012 with a target production capacity of 20,000 vehicles per year by the end of 2013. According to Tesla, the Model S project and powertrain manufacturing facility are expected to create over 1,600 jobs.